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Question from Lars: I have been told Mac computers are not susceptible to viruses, trojan horses, worms, etc because of the open unix platform. But what is the truth? How do I protect my Mac from key loggers and the like?

Jason answers: Macs ARE susceptible to viruses and malware, there just isn’t as many threats to the Mac platform when compared to Windows. Actually, threats to the Windows OS dwarf any other operating system. There have been tens of thousands of viruses, malware, trojans, and adware programs targeted at Windows users and a couple of hundred towards Mac users.

You also mentioned keyloggers. Leaving your Mac unattended can be just as dangerous as malware, especially if you don’t have a password to protect your account. Someone can install software that can collect your keystrokes or report other activities to another location. You can protect yourself by setting a strong password for your account and having to enter the password when you boot up your Mac and wake it from sleep or screensaver.

To protect yourself from Mac malware, you can get software that blocks these threats. Here is a short list of Mac security products and resources. There is quite a bit of information at each link’s destination on threats to the Mac. I hope I don’t generate too much paranoia.

Products

Intego Security Products

ESET NOD32 Antivirus for Mac (in beta)

iAntivirus

Norton Macintosh Security Products

MacScan AntiSpyware

Information and Resources

Mac Virus Blogsite

Intego Security Blog

iAntivirus Threat List

Jason

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